A swarm of angry men vandalised two school buses at a kindergarten in Thane, right after one of the vehicles ran over a two-year-old dog after dropping the children to school on Monday morning.
The smashed buses at Rainbow Preschool’s parking lot. Pics/Sameer Markande
The bus, belonging to Rainbow Preschool And Laurel Public School, was at Khewra Circle when the dog, Marshall, belonging to Shiv Sena corporator Ujwala Phadatare, was squashed by it. It is alive, but was grievously injured. The school administration alleged that Sena workers had damaged its buses in an act of vengeance, but the corporator rubbished the allegations as baseless.
No one was aboard the bus when the mob shattered the windscreen and window panes of the buses in the school’s parking lot. B Choudhary, senior inspector at the Kapurbawdi police station, said, “Both the parties registered a complaint on Monday evening. While the school has complained about a crowd creating chaos and damaging school property, the other side has complained about their dog being hurt in the accident.”
The spokesperson for the preschool, Amrita Pereira, said, “The dog came in front of the bus suddenly, and the driver was not in a position to press the emergency brakes, mainly because there were kids aboard. So, he decided to bring them to school. When he parked the bus and was about to get out, he saw a mob, which came charging and started hammering at the bus. Nilesh Phadatare (the corporator’s son) and his men started abusing our trustees as well. However, at that point our main concern was to take care of our little kids.”
Denying all the allegations, corporator Phadatare said that the incident had happened too early in the morning for her party’s workers to go and kick up such a fuss. She said the damage was caused by the school authorities themselves. Phadatare, who lives in an apartment building near the school, said, “My dog was down for a bath when he ran out of the gate, and was run over by the bus.
Corporator Ujwala Phadatare
If the driver was not at fault, he should have waited, instead of running away from the site. Marshall has been with us from the time he was three days old. Obviously, his injuries have saddened us a lot. However, my concern is that this could happen to anyone and, therefore, it’s important that the school authorities are more cautious.”
Nilesh Phadatare and the other accused have been charged under IPC sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly with offence committed in prosecution of common object), 336 (endangering life or safety of others), 427 (mischief), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation). The bus driver, on the other hand, was booked under sections 279 (rash driving) and 429 (mischief by maiming or killing animal).
Marshall, a Rottweiler, suffered grievous injuries during the mishap, and is said to have bled profusely, broken his jaw and lost some six teeth. He was rushed to the Planet Animal Hospital in Thane on Ghodbunder Road. The doctors claimed that till the time he was brought to the hospital, he had lost almost half a bucket of blood. Dr Shashank Kamble, who is treating Marshall currently, said that had he not been brought to the hospital in time, he would not have made it.
Marshall, thr Rottweiler is given anaesthesia and steroids at a pet clinic on Ghodbunder Road
“Presently, the dog has been administered anaesthesia and steroids, so that he does not feel the extreme pain. A team of doctors is being called from Pune to put steel implants from Germany in his jaw, where he has sustained bilateral mandible fracture, as the bus apparently ran over his face. He cannot eat or drink anything. We are monitoring his heartbeat and it will take two more days for the pet to get stable, after which he will be operated upon,” Dr Kamble said. A veterinary surgeon from Pune, Milind Hatekar, has been called in to perform the three-hour surgery.